Media reporting that British medical publication The Lancet has published a report by Johns Hopkins University claiming that more than 600,000 Iraqis have died since the Allied invasion in 2003 -- a stupefyingly large number far bigger than anything anyone else has suggested.
The report is built largely on estimates and interviews with about 13,000 Iraqis -- they then projected the data over the entire nation to come up with their total.
In other words, they guessed.
This number is so high, it defies gravity. Brookings Institution Scholar Michael O'Hanlon called it "preposterously high."
The decidedly antiwar group Iraq Body Count, for example, puts the figure at closer to 50,000 based on actual counts from morgues and media reports.
Johns Hopkins and the Lancet pulled a similar stunt two years ago, when they reported casualties at about 100,000 -- again, roughly four times what Iraq Body Count was reporting.
The timing on this is certainly interesting -- less than a month before a major U.S. election where the war on terror is a key issue.
I would think if you wanted to hijack an election by telling lies you'd at least want to make the lies believeable.
But then, I don't do stuff like that, so I wouldn't know.